Marussia rookies ready for Melbourne

Tuesday 12-March-2013 14:43

There is always a buzz before the start of the new season, but the excitement at Marussia is more upbeat than usual as both their drivers will make their debuts this weekend.

Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi have replaced Timo Glock and Charles Pic at the Banbury squad and naturally the duo can't contain their excitement ahead of the race at Albert Park in Melbourne.

"I can't wait for Australia and the start of my debut season," said Chilton. "The past few weeks of pre-season testing have flown by, but I've spent a lot of time in the car working on so many different things that I feel totally prepared for what lies ahead now.

"We gathered a lot of information with the MR02 in Jerez and Barcelona and at every stage it has been possible to see the benefit of all that learning and development.

"I hope to continue that in the opening races. I think we have a good car for Melbourne but it is vital that we keep pushing forward."

Bianchi only found out a few weeks ago that he would be on the 2013 F1 grid as he was only handed the Marussia seat after Luiz Razia was dumped as his sponsors were unable to come up with funds.

"So much has happened over the past couple of weeks that it's difficult to get my head around the fact that I am about to begin my Formula 1 racing career in Melbourne next weekend," Bianchi said.

"I guess excitement is the only emotion I've had time to experience, there has been so much to do and so many people to meet. Things happen for a reason and I feel confident that we are going to have a very positive season together.

"There is a nice and positive vibe about the team and good signs from the work that has been done with the MR02. In the short period of time that I was driving the car in Barcelona last week, I felt very comfortable based on my previous experiences with other F1 cars I have driven, so I'm excited to see what we can achieve in the first few races."

Team principal John Booth says spirits in the camp are high after a successful pre-season campaign.

"Although certain aspects of our winter were quite challenging, the overwhelming feeling we take into the Australian Grand Prix is great optimism," he said.

"In many ways we are in our best shape ever as a Team and everyone is thriving on that and looking forward to what we hope will be a positive 19-race journey ahead. Our new package has performed well in pre-season testing, with encouraging signs in terms of performance and reliability.

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